We interrupt your regularly scheduled post to bring you this not-so-breaking news:
BENDIS IS COMING.
— DC (@DCComics) November 7, 2017
With the DC Universe already firing on all cylinders (see also: Metal, Mister Miracle, Rebirth), it’s kinda daunting to imagine adding Bendis to the mix. The whole thing’s reminiscent of Jack Kirby’s jump to DC in so many more ways than one, and I wonder if we won’t see Bendis take a similar approach to picking what books he wants to make. With DC’s core line-up already spoken for, Bendis and the company might have to find something a bit off-the-wall for the writer to tackle first.
I’m all for that, because there’s one not entirely obvious book I think Bendis would be perfect for, and would give a lot of fans exactly what they want from the writer.
I want Brian Bendis on a The Daily Planet ongoing, and I want it yesterday.
Bendis’s best stuff is grounded. Give me the Bendis from Daredevil or Ultimate Spider-Man over the Bendis from Guardians of the Galaxy or Avengers any day. In the DC Universe, there’s no better place to tell the kind of grounded, character-based, man-on-the-superhero-street stories I want from Bendis than The Daily Planet. Give me a day in the life of Jimmy Olsen. Give me Lois Lane hunting down Intergang. Give me the best “old newspaper man with a heart of gold” moment that Perry White has to offer. Bendis would kill all of these stories.
Think of what Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka did with the GCPD in Gotham Central, then realize no one’s done that with the Daily Planet crew, and you can start to see the possibilities. But I know Bendis likes to challenge himself (I’m going to write about this soon, but you should really read Words for Pictures), and maybe he wouldn’t consider the Planet challenging enough. I’d disagree (it’s an ensemble cast and a concept that connects to most any part of the DCU), but let’s say that’s the case. Here’s the challenging part, then:
Make it a weekly.
Insane? Yeah, probably. But not with a solid co-writer, perhaps someone who’s worked on a weekly book before. Give me Geoff Johns as a backstop, guiding Brian Michael Bendis to the most interesting parts of the DCU each week. Integrate The Daily Planet, and Bendis, with DC’s overall plan, letting some of the non-superhero folk start to feel around the edges of all this multiversal-Manhattan nonsense. Bendis has already shown an interest in playing with similar concepts in recent issues of Alias.
The Daily Planet could be as ambitious as 52, if DC was willing to buy in. And while Bendis has written enough books per month for it to seem like it, he’s never done a weekly before. It’s a new challenge, but one I’m positive the writer could pull off.
It’s a big ask, especially that last part. And The Daily Planet is obviously not the book DC’s most excited to get Bendis on. But it would play to the writer’s strengths, give him a great avenue for feeling out the DCU, and give those of us who’ve wanted a Lois Lane book a place to see her shine. I’m not worried about getting Bendis’s Batman or Bendis’s Green Lantern. Those’ll happen with time. But now’s the perfect time to start him on something a little more niche, something people will come to just because “it’s Bendis at DC” and stay for because it has great character beats and authentic newsroom banter.
After all, another Marvel mainstay started his DC career working with Jimmy Olsen, and that seemed to turn out alright.